Trieste, Italy: Juventus clinched their 28th Serie A title with a 2-0 victory over Cagliari here on Sunday.
Going into the penultimate round of the Serie A season with a one-point advantage in hand over AC Milan, the Bianconeri turned in a professional – if uninspired display – against the Rossoblu, opening the scoring through Mirko Vucinic with just six minutes gone.
They survived a penalty scare early in the second half, when Andrea Cossu went down in the area under pressure from Giorgio Chiellini, before sealing the victory – and indeed the title – courtesy of an own goal from Michele Canini and the Rossoneri’s dramatic 4-2 defeat by Inter at San Siro.
Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini is thrown in the air in celebration after the team's Serie A match against Cagliari. Juventus won 2-0 and clinched the Serie A title.
Just as they had done in midweek against Lecce, Juve struck early, with Vucinic coolly slotting the ball through Michael Agazzi’s legs after latching onto Andrea Barzagli’s chip in behind the Cagliari defence. Credit must go to the Montenegrin for a well-time run and tremendously composed finish but it was too easy from a Cagliari perspective, with their entire back four all guilty of ball-watching.
The Bianconeri should have built on their early advantage but, in truth, they struggled thereafter, although Simone Pepe forced Agazzi into action again with an attempted curler at the tail end of the half, before then seeing his low strike blocked after an incisive crossfield run.
Luckily for Juve, their opponents, for all their possession, posed little in way of an attacking threat and the closest they came to equalising was when the isolated Mauricio Pinilla fired a 35-yard shot just wide of Gianluigi Buffon’s right-hand post after a powerful surge from deep.
Cagliari looked more menacing in the second period and they very nearly earned themselves a penalty on 53 minutes after a wonderful counterattack instigated by Radja Nainggolan, but referee Daniele Orsato waved away their appeals after Cossu had been bundled over in the area by Giorgio Chiellini and booked the Rossoblu replacement for an alleged dive.
Juventus looked a little nervy but Vucinic lifted them with a terrific curling effort from the edge of the area which Agazzi kept out acrobatically before Martin Caceres headed just wide.
The second goal, it seemed, was coming and it promptly arrived on 74 minutes, Canini deflecting a Caceres cross up and over a helpless Agazzi in the Cagliari goal.
Moments later news arrived from Milan that Inter had ahead in the derby Della Madonnina, prompting wild scenes of celebration among the Juventus faithful – but calls for calm from coach Antonio Conte.
However, the former Bianconeri midfielder need not have worried as Inter added a fourth goal late on as undefeated Juventus ultimately cruised to their first legitimate Scudetto since 2003.